Blue sky….thinking and reality

It is a lovely evening as I write this post, made all the more special because it has been very grey and dull again here. I have had a very nice week though with lots of blue sky thinking about possibilities as life gets back to normal.

I went out on Saturday, for the first time in 16 weeks, to have a pizza at the lovely Katie’s Kitchen in the village. It was so nice to be able to sit and chat to my friends and we had a lovely face to face catch up. I have seen some of them briefly in real life in the village but not for any length of time. We are hoping to have a Wool and Wine meet up again this week at another friend’s house who has a large covered patio area and barn.

This will be the last post for possibly a while as we are off for a series of holidays (hopefully) to Whitby this coming weekend, then camping with my sister. We would have been going to the Whitby Steampunk weekend but decided that, since we had already booked and paid for our hotel, to go and support the local economy. We are planning some nice meals out, afternoon teas and a trip to two National Trust sites.

I am still hoping to go to Spain as well at the start of August, fingers crossed that all stays ok for that but hopefully with lots of positive blue sky thinking all will be well.

We finished the planned decorating last week and Ellen decluttered my wardrobe so it was all very productive. The jacket has been tacked together but needs some serious size adjustment so that is on the list for this week.

The rest of the time has been concentrating on the knitting of the Little Cotton Rabbits animals. I am making up one of the mice that I have in stash but decided to knit some new body parts to co-ordinate with the outfit. I have this lovely variegated wool so this is the body and the top of the tights.

LCR Mouse body 1

The tights themselves are striped and use the same wool as the shoes, as well as the variegated wool.

LCR Mouse shoes 1

I am also going to be using the darker lilac wool for the top of a romper suit. This is a modification of two of the patterns and I have been very inspired by these gorgeous creations from the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook page.

LCR Christine Batty Romper

LCR Jaqueline Hastings Romper

LCR Susan Kinnersly Romper

These are from Christine Batty for the reindeer in pink, Jacqueline Hastings for the bunny in the nighttime romper (with amazing cute toy cat and hot water bottle!) and Susan Kinnersly for the bear in the beautiful green. I love your creativity and you have really inspired me.

I am modifying the modified pattern a little (if that makes sense!) to try and get a ruffle round the leg. I have done a 2 x 2 rib for four rows and then decreased by knitting two together every four stitches to try and get the effect of a frill which seems to be working.

LCR Mouse romper 1

LCR Mouse romper 2

These are not going to have pockets though the original dungaree pattern does and may have a fancy top half if I can work something out with the dress pattern section. It will keep my brain working to experiment anyway.

Work is officially over on Wednesday for three whole weeks! When I come back we shall no doubt have to have some more blue sky thinking to be creative in working out how we teach in very different circumstances, but we shall see what happens in late September. At least it will be good to have a nice long break, I am so tired at the moment and really looking forward to it.

I hope that you have all got nice things planned for the summer, either staycations or going somewhere relaxing. I think we all need a break now, just some time to stop and appreciate things and take a deep breath and relax.

Take care and stay safe what ever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

What the well dressed mannequin is wearing today

More exciting news in the (hopefully) life returning to something like normal is that we may have a Steampunk event to go to on August Bank Holiday. The lovely people at the Ministry of Steampunk, who run the Lincoln event, have booked a beautiful historic house hotel to run an event in the grounds, with a socially distanced market and picnic areas. Fingers crossed that all goes well and it can go ahead.

So that means that I have made a start on the peacock inspired jacket that I bought the material for at Christmas. Ellen cut it out for me when she was up last week and I am going to tack it together tomorrow ready for a fitting when she comes up again this week. I am very pleased, although always a little nervous about making clothes as fitting is always a challenge for me. However, practise makes perfect as they say.

Peacock jacket 1

I am using the pattern that I used to make my sister-in-law Amanda’s wedding jacket but modifying it to make it a little shorter.It may have a collar but I have not yet decided on that but it will have (hopefully) beautiful double layered sleeves with the organza layer on top of the satin.

Peacock jacket 2

My plan is to use various bit of applique from the sari set on the bottom of the jacket then more organza and the jewels and peacock feathers on my purple hat. It will be fun experimenting with all this anyway.

Peacock jacket 3

Peacock jacket 4

I love peacock feathers and they go so well with the gold and blue organza, it is such a pity that we don’t get to wear things like this every day, how fabulous are these colours?

Peacock jacket 5

I have finished the clothing for the little elephant. Say hello to Egbert looking very smart in his stripy jumper and dungarees. I had quite a challenge with the jumper as I have never knitted one top down before but it worked out ok. It is a little loose but I am very pleased with how neat it is.

Egbert elephant 1

Egbert elephant 3

All of these patterns are by Little Cotton Rabbits again and are available from her Ravelry store, link on her blog here. I am now on with a new pattern, an adaptation of the dungarees to make some rompers. This adaptation is available from the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook group and you will need to have the dungaree pattern and the textured dresses pattern to make the rompers. They will be for a little mouse. I appear to have the parts knitted for at least two mice already so will be working on that over the next couple of weeks.

Decorating went well last week and we have more planned for this week. My wonderful daughter was such a star and things are getting well underway. I did feel the effects of it all afterward so was very glad to have a quiet weekend on the sofa knitting and watching the very thrilling Manifest. There has been lots of snuggling under the fleece again as it has been cold and wet here.

I hope that you have a nice week ahead, I will be back next week with hopefully at least some progress on both jacket and mouse! Stay safe, take care and thanks for visiting.

A little progress…with life as well as crafting!

I don’t know where this week has gone to but it has really flown by. I had two days off work this week. Ellen came up again to celebrate my birthday and we went for a little bit of charity shop browsing in a local village.

I think we were a little too early for reaping the benefits of everyone’s decluttering as they seemed to be having a lot of donations to deal with, but I did manage to get a blue blouse and lots of books. We were really keen to put some money back into the coffers of all of the charities as we know they will have been hit really hard by the lockdown closures.

We also went out to my brother and sister in law’s house and had a great evening. They have their own pizza oven that they built in their garden so we had a lovely time, sheltering under a large umbrella as you do in June in the UK, eating delicious pizza and catching up.

Pizza oven

 

We would have all been in Spain together and I would have had a chance to see their fabulous cave house but we will have to try and do that another time. They bought it a couple of years ago, and go over regularly. However, we have never been there at the same time as they go out of school holidays. Hopefully next year when I retire we can arrange that, if not before.

The rest of the week has just been lots of admin and many, many more meetings. Hopefully we are getting to the stage that everything is sorted for the new term, at least the planning we can do now. The rest will just have to wait and see until nearer the time.

The weather here has been less than summery. I was lucky enough to get out for an hour this afternoon to plant up the things I bought with Ellen but we are now back to torrential rain, thank goodness for being inside under a fleecy blanket!

I have finished some projects, the vintage embroidery hoop is done and I am very pleased how this has turned out. I love the simplicity of it and am looking forward to doing a companion piece for the other little cousin for her birthday.

Vintage dog completed

Vintage dog detail

I am doing well with the knitted animals. I have put together one of the elephants, excuse the lack of eyes, that is on the list for later today.

LCR Elephant front

LCR Elephant back

I have been knitting some dungarees from one of the new patterns that I bought this month from Little Cotton Rabbits on Ravelry. It has pockets and little button holes on the bib. How cute are these!

LCR Dungarees 1

LCR Dungarees 2

LCR Dungarees 3

Next to knit is a stripy t-shirt to go with it. I have been taking my inspiration from the Facebook page again and am really looking forward to using the other new patterns that I have bought. Look at those little trainers, so gorgeous. All photos from Little Cotton Rabbits on Ravelry.

In other exciting news my sister and I have booked a few nights at a campsite in the dales for the end of July. Ellen will be joining us for one night in a tent. We have three nights at Aysgarth where there are some fabulous waterfalls which are some of my sister’s favourite things. We are so pleased to be able to do this and are going to have a few walks and even a meal in a pub! Such a lot to look forward to 🙂

I have another busy week planned, more admin and then a couple more days off with Ellen coming to help me to do some decorating. Now there is officially less than a year left of the retirement countdown I need to start sorting things so that I can put the house on the market next year. It does not need too much doing, just really freshening up but I am looking forward to all of the steps that will bring me closer to moving to Spain.

I hope that you have had a nice weekend and have a good week ahead. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A week of lovely things

I have had a very exciting week, as I mentioned last week I went to stay with Ellen. This  involved a walk in the beautiful Whitwell Woods near her house, a visit to Brodsworth Hall, lots of decorating and gardening (including trips to the garden centre and B and Q), and a trip to Aldi on the way back. I have not had this much adventure in weeks 🙂

Ellen has been going to these woods regularly and they are beautiful, it was a really hot day so we were very glad of the shade. We saw lots of squirrels running around in the paths. They are so cute, Ellen has squirrels at work and sees them every day but I get so excited when I see one.

The social distancing at Brodsworth meant that we were only able to visit the house but it all worked very well. You have to book timed tickets and there were plenty available. We had a lovely picnic in the grounds of the house by the statues.

Brodsworth 4

Brodsworth 5

The formal gardens are very beautiful, especially the different shrubs and hedges.

Brodsworth 13

I also really liked the fern grotto, I have a lot of ferns in my rockery and love the way they grow back each year from tiny tendrils.

There were also lots of beautiful flowers, some we had seen before, and others, like this purple monkey orchid in the top right, which were new to us.

Brodsworth Alison

Ellen thought my choice of blouse was very appropriate for the rose arbour!

There were tea facilities and the shop was open so I was able to support English Heritage by buying some of my favourite curds.We took some gluten free scones, jam and cream with us and had a lovely little afternoon tea in the courtyard.

Brodsworth 28

I have been really wanting to get back to visiting places as I know how much they rely on visitor revenue. I know it may not be the top of everyone’s list of things to save but I really value our heritage so want to try and do as much as I can to help both English Heritage and the National Trust over the coming months. So many things are at risk because of the situation and it is very worrying for all who work in both these places and the retail and hospitality industries. I am very lucky to have a job that has not been affected too much.

As well as the adventuring I got to help Ellen with some painting and a bit of a garden makeover. This bed was full of stones and very hard but we managed to dig it out. We made a trip to B and Q to get some petunias, bizzie lizzies and lobelias which will be very pretty when they flower.

Ellie's garden

I also got to spend time with her very cute cat, Wynn, who I have not met before. He enjoyed his time with us in the garden while we drank gin and tonic and admired our handiwork. He is a rescue cat and cannot go outside on his own due to being poorly so he was on a harness with us.

Ellie's cat

Ellen has also been decorating stones to brighten up her garden. She has made lots of ladybird ones and also some beautiful mandala style ones, so she and I spent a lovely afternoon painting some more of them. Hers are the two larger ones here. They look so pretty dotted around the garden and hopefully we can get some more stones to add to these.

Painted stones

It was such a lovely week, I really appreciated being able to spend lots of time with Ellen as well as get some practical things done. It feels as if things are really starting to feel more normal here, fingers crossed that will continue.

I have some leave coming up this week as well, Ellen will be up again and we are going to go on a little day out for my birthday, just to one of the neighbouring villages. We will also be seeing my brother and sister in law for a visit in their garden. I also plan to work on more knitted animals and I have almost finished the vintage style embroidery. I am looking forward to a few quiet weeks after all the busyness of work.

I hope that you have a lovely week ahead as well. Take care,stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Making elephants

When I was trying to decide on the title of this post I was looking at all the little parts of the latest knitted toy from Little Cotton Rabbits before me. I thought about how you make an elephant, one bit at a time, then you sew them all together and ta da you get something like Bonnie below, posing in the bougainvillia in Spain.

Elephant knitting 2

knitted-bonnie-elephant-spain1

I was reminded of that saying about how to eat an elephant, which is one bit at a time and thought that was a very good basis for this post. Yesterday I submitted the re-written doctorate, which was 88, 997 words long. That seems an impossible thing to do, but I have done it. One day at a time, spending hours and hours on what seemed like a never ending task. But it is done 🙂

In the same way we are just coming to the end of week 13 of lockdown. For all those days I have been here in my house, trying to do what seem like lots of impossible things. But they have got done, one day at a time. Now all of the very busiest period at work, and hopefully the most stressful part of the lockdown, is over.

I have taken up animal knitting again as after very long hours of typing my hands have been very painful in the evening. Not that I have done much this week at all. All of these body parts above I found in my WIP drawer, along with the body parts of two mice and at least one rabbit. I have just started sewing the elephant up and I am part way through a jumper for him as well. This is for a friend at work and she is going to give it to her grandson.

I have been inspired as well by the newly formed Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook group. There is such an amazing variety of beautiful toys here and the adaptations and colours that people have used are amazing.

I have shared some of the wonderful things that people have made below, these are by – clockwise from top left – Elizabeth Powis Fulkes, Gem Allaway, Jo Harrop, Sarah Fellner, Sarah Bellis and Hilary Trunnell Adams. Well done for all your fantastic creativity and thank you for all the inspiration. I just adore the bags, hats, rompers and the gorgeous colours you have all used. I love the idea of using sew on eyes as well.

My treat shopping this month is going to include some more of Julie’s patterns as I don’t have all of them yet. I have been sorting out which I need and making sure they are all stored safely. The cute little top and skirt are going to be on my list as I love that.

I have had a lovely week, apart from working hard on the doctorate I have been doing a puzzle, this is one that I absolutely loved doing. It is by a designer called Aimee Stewart and I have other works by her on my wish list. The title of the piece is very apt, A Stitch in Time, and she has used vintage paintings of stitchers to create this masterpiece of colour and detail. I would love to be any one of these women.

Stitch in time puzzle - full

Stitch in time puzzle 1

Stitch in time puzzle 2

Stitch in time puzzle 3

Stitch in time puzzle 4

I also had a fantastic surprise on Sunday. I knew that Ellen was coming up for a walk but just before she was due there was a knock on the door and it was my sister, Jacky. She had driven all the way from Worcester, a 2 1/2 hour drive, in her camper van to come and see me. She and Ellen had arranged it and it was so lovely to see her. Here she is, appropriately socially distanced of course!

Jacky Walk 2

We all went for a very lovely walk, up a footpath over the hills behind the house. I have not been there before and really enjoyed exploring, we found some streams, and sheep of course. And there were the wonderful views from the other side of the village.

We also did get to have our first BBQ of the year as it was beautiful weather, so we christened the new table and chairs.

Jacky Walk 11

I am going to have a really exciting weekend and week ahead. We are now allowed to visit other single households in ‘social bubbles’, so Ellen is coming to get me and I am going to stay at her house. Partly it is to help her decorate, but we have also booked to go to an English Heritage house on Monday. Just the gardens are open but I am so excited to be actually going somewhere.I may even go in a supermarket as well. The weather looks pretty damp here but I don’t care, I will have a lovely time.

So very good times ahead. Most of the work is done for the year so I can have some time off. There will be lots and lots of time for crafting and I only have to write a very small amount of words for the rest of the summer 🙂 Some days I may not even write at all! I am so very happy to be at this stage.

I hope that you are all happy too and are going to have a lovely weekend. I hope that you are all feeling positive and looking forward to nice happenings in your own lives.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Slow stitching Sunday

I have been making very slow progress this week, for a number of reasons, but I did really enjoy spending all of yesterday sitting and stitching. There is an actual thing called Slow Stitching Sunday, hosted by Kathy’s Quilts  which is actually aimed at hand stitching for quilters and they have a link party every Sunday. There is some beautiful work at this link from yesterday.

The main reason I was being so slow is because I am really suffering with arthritis in my hands at the moment. Too much typing from marking and the doctorate has meant that they are very sore. Still it was very lovely to be able to sit and watch lots of movies on Netflix and just relax.

I finished the other embroidery circle last week as well, it now has its little hexagon added and has been added to the pile of finishes to be made into bags. I am now making fairly good progress on my first design from the Vintage Stitching book that I posted about previously. I am making this little hoop embroidery as a birthday present for one of the younger relatives, hopefully she will think it is as cute as I do.

 

Vintage dog stitching

Another bit of vintage embroidery from Ebay arrived for the stash this week as well. This tea cosy has designs on both sides so I have eight motifs in total.

Vintage embroidered tea cosy 1

I am planning to make some more Liberty log cabin blocks with these. I have a growing stash of them, some that I have used for things like baskets and needle books and a handbag for me. I will also someday hopefully have enough of these for a quilt as well.

vintage-log-cabin-block-11

giveaway-liberty-needlebook-1

july-bags-and-pouches-12

vintage-log-cabin-bag-1

We are having a Wool and Wine live tomorrow, hopefully the weather will be fine for our garden meet up at one of my friend’s houses. It will be brilliant to see everyone (well 6 of us!) again, we were planning one last week but poor weather meant that it was Zoom only again.

Ellen is planning to come up again this Saturday and fingers crossed we may get out first BBQ of the year, I have probably completely jinxed that by writing it here but hopefully she will bring nice Midlands weather with her.

I hope that you all have a good week ahead and have the chance to do some nice normal things. There will be some big changes in the next few weeks, not for me really as I am not planning to go anywhere except the village for the foreseeable future. Hopefully we are headed in the right direction and we can all carry on enjoying the company of friends and family.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Off to the beach…. Marsden style

Don’t worry, we have not annoyed the residents of any seaside county by actually going to the beach, we are all still being very sensible here and I am still not leaving the village. Today marks 11 weeks since I left Marsden, on our little pre-lockdown trip to the fabric shop. Little did we know then that we were going to be in our homes for so long!

Ellen came up on Tuesday rather than at the weekend as the weather forecast was not good and we went for a very long, and quite hot, walk, right over to the other side of the village and onto the moors. I thought I would share some of the photos with you as it was a very beautiful day.

Marsden Beach walk 1

We started off in the middle of the village near the church where there is a lovely pack horse bridge and a weir. This cottage had the most enormous poppies in the garden that you can just see in the above picture.

Marsden Beach walk 6

This river comes out from one of the other mill sites, the only one to have been demolished and there are now houses there, some right next to the weir.

A walk though the woods next to the canal led to this example of a sheep fold, which was built as a demonstration of dry walling. There are a couple of sheep sculptures inside and it shows how they would contain the sheep while they sheared them, getting them in through the high gap and blocking off the little exit until each sheep had been done.

Marsden Beach walk 9

Marsden Beach walk 10

There are still lots of gorgeous rhododendrons in bloom and we also came across another example of the lovely tree that we found on our last walk. Ellen now has a plant finder app on her phone so we were able to establish that it is a hawthorn and the little rose buds had now fully bloomed and were looking beautiful.

Marsden Beach walk 7

Marsden Beach walk 8

Marsden Beach walk 12

The cottages above are at the end of the canal near the canal heritage centre and they were probably built for the workers that used to mend the boats when the centre was operational.

We were headed for a little bit of the river known locally as Marsden beach where we had a picnic and a paddle. There were quite a few families there and it was lovely to see the children playing in the water.

Marsden Beach walk 13

Marsden Beach walk 14

The ‘beach’ part of the walk has some lovely areas leading from it up into the moors so we followed the path along the river, passing another bridge until we came to part of the moor known as Eastergate.

Marsden Beach walk 17

Marsden Beach walk 18

This is National Trust land, as is all of the land around here that is not part of the Peak District National Park and as at other points there is a sculpture linking the landscape with the industrial heritage.

Marsden Beach walk 21

Marsden Beach walk 22

Marsden Beach walk 23

Marsden Beach walk 24

This was part of the trail where the wool would be brought over the moors and is now a brilliant area for picnics and paddling on a hot day. We were lucky enough to find ice cream on sale in the village when we got back as some of the cafes are doing take away so finished our walk with an ice cream by the river.

A really lovely, lovely day, doing such normal but very special things now and finished off by the delivery of my new table and chairs which had arrived while we were out. My lovely neighbours had taken them in and so I finished the day replanting my hanging baskets and sitting outside with a glass of wine in the evening sun.

New chairs 1

The sheep have very kindly not eaten any of my plants, unlike my poor neighbours who have spent a lot of lockdown planting what the sheep have been treating as a salad bar. Luckily they don’t seem to like geraniums 🙂

New chairs 2

Of course being Yorkshire we are now having a cold spell to celebrate the start of June but hopefully things will brighten up next week as we are planning our first Wool and Wine live meet up. There will be six of us, in the same space, with wine and nibbles, how exciting is that!

I have done very little on the crafting front as I have been working on my jigsaw on the nice sunny evenings, it is lovely to sit with the back door open and listen to the birds. I have just started a new embroidery from my vintage stitching book and will hopefully have some time this weekend to get back to the Liberty quilt blocks as I have sadly neglected them in the last few weeks. Never mind there will be plenty of time after the doctorate is finished.

I hope that you have all been having a good week and that you have a good weekend ahead. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Some more little treats

I have been continuing to support small businesses with some purchases and was very touched when my recent order from Duck Egg Threads came with this very sweet note in the packaging.

Duck eggs Liberty 1

The fabric is so lovely, how could I resist ordering more so will definitely get some again next month. I have been putting my travel to work budget to good use for this purpose and there is so much I would like to get from them. They are the lovely site that I mentioned a while ago with very clear displays of all of the colours they stock.

Duck eggs Liberty 2

I ordered 8 fat 16ths as that gives me a lot of longer strips for when I do more quilt blocks that need these longer lengths. Most of these designs I have already had but am now down to little scraps of. That is the lovely thing about quilting though, there is always something to use up the tiny bits for.

Duck eggs Liberty 3

I have been sorting out some papers to use for the Liberty hexagon quilt and have found these that I have already made so think that I will use the half inch hexagons for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden designs.

Liberty half inch hexis

That does mean that for a bed sized quilt I would need a grand total of 18,720 hexagons according to the calculations on this blog here. That is a major project so I may just make something smaller for the moment, like a cushion for the future camper van!

I have also treated myself to a new stitching book. I love buying vintage linens and have another one on the way from Ebay and this book, Vintage Stitching Treasury has been on my wish list for a while.

Vintage Stitching 1

There are so many cute versions of the Crinoline Lady patterns in here.

Vintage Stitching 6

Vintage Stitching 5

There are also some very familiar flowers that are very similar  to the jacket I made from tablecloths a couple of years ago.

Vintage Stitching 2

Steampunk linen jacket finished 2

Vintage Stitching 4

I love the cute animals as well. There are 400 patterns in here so it is very good value.

Vintage Stitching 3

I think some of these would look fabulous on cushions as well as making into embroidered hoop pictures. My new supply of hoops arrived as well so I can put together another camper van picture.

Last but not least I was also tempted by some more camper van fabric, and gave in!

Camper van fabric May

These are such gorgeous colours and I have half a metre of it so am going to put it away for a bit until I decide what to do with it. Possibly cushion covers with some applique van fronts.This was also from Amazon, from a company called Discover Fabrics

I have had a brilliant weekend.Kerry came up on Saturday and we went for a very long and hot walk to the same reservoir we went to last week, this time we did have a little paddle in the stream though. It was wonderful to be able to talk to her in person and we will have another meet up very soon.

Sunday was a nice quiet day of sewing. It has been so lovely this week to see real live people as we have been able to meet up with friends for exercise now so I have seen lots of people from Wool and Wine. From next week we will be able to meet in small groups outside so that will be exciting. I am so looking forward to getting some kind of normality into my life again and having things to look forward to.

I hope that you have all had a good weekend and have a good week ahead. I shall be mainly working on the doctorate but hopefully this gorgeous weather will continue and I can have some lovely evening walks as well.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Sunday stitching

I had a busy day last Sunday but did not manage to get the Bearpaw block made. I did get as far as sorting out the fabrics for it though but it will be a while in the making.

Meanwhile, I will show you the troublesome blocks from the previous weekend. I am very pleased with how they turned out but still slightly baffled why I have so many difficulties with the points. There is such a variety in whether they meet, overlap or are too far apart.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 3

Campervan Sawtooth Star 4

Anyway I shall hopefully enjoy using them at some point in the future in my camper van. I am very pleased with the fact that I managed to get matching fabric from my stash for the triangle parts of the design. I decided pink would be better for the other colour as white was too harsh with the cream background of the camper van print.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 1

Campervan Sawtooth Star 2

The spotty fabric is from the scrap bin when Simply Solids was open and the turquoise is some of the wonderful ombre collection by V and Co. I love this fabric and have nearly run out so may have to treat myself to more.

I have started some new Jenny of Elefantz stitching for viewing crafting. This is one of her many circular designs from her previous monthly design club and I am planning to put a cute Liberty hexagon in the middle as I have done with other designs.

May embroidery circle WIP

I am using the variegated Mill House Designs thread that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I love using variegated thread and it works really well for these designs as I only need one strand.

May embroidery circle WIP 3

May embroidery circle WIP 2

I am currently really enjoying the latest series of Outlander and a new series called Sweet Magnolias so had a lovely time watching those while I finished this design. This week marked the last week of marking, yippee 🙂 139 pieces of work done and dusted so that makes me very happy.

There are then a couple of weeks work on finishing the doctorate and then I can take some leave. Aside from some DIY, both here and at Ellen’s if I can, I need to think about some scheduling of projects.

It seems very strange not to be making things for events or for Yarndale this summer but I would rather wait to make the Steampunk things until a little nearer the time of the actual events and we don’t really know when that will be.

I will probably devote a lot more time to quilt blocks and maybe start a new Liberty project as I have lots of scraps so I am thinking about a hexagon quilt that I can hand piece. I love the Grandmother’s Garden pattern and have seen some wonderful examples of those.

Look at this gorgeous one used as a tablecloth from Home is Where the Boat is, picture from the blog. I love the quilt and the setting is wonderful with the water in the background. Such beautiful flowers as well.

Granny Flowers tablecloth

This layout is from Alice Caroline’s web site, another one of my favourite Liberty suppliers and she actually sells pre-cut hexagon kits if you want to save time.I love that purple print in the lower right hand side, I have the green and pink versions of this one.

Granny-Flowers-hexagons

Anyway it will be fun scheduling things. I am glad to have been working during the past few months as it has made the time go very quickly but it will be lovely to have some very lazy days in the craft room.

I hope you all have a good weekend ahead. I am very much looking forward to seeing my wonderful friend Kerry tomorrow, she will be visiting me for a nice long walk up to the reservoirs. It has been beautiful weather this week while I have been inside working so hopefully it will continue this weekend as well

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

The flower fairy in the wild

I had a very special day yesterday when I saw my lovely daughter for the first time since Feb. Now that we are allowed to travel for exercise she came up for the day and we went on a very long walk to the end of the second reservoir near me. Of course she did not wear the flower fairy dress but something a bit more suited to walking but it would have looked fabulous against all the lovely flowers.

Walk with Ellen 1

We even had a picnic beside the stream. It turned out to be very good weather, despite a very windy start and we sat for a long time in the sun, chatting about all the things that have happened in the past few months.

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Walk with Ellen 3

Walk with Ellen 9

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Walk with Ellen 6

Of course we have been keeping in touch by phone and video chat but nothing compares to seeing people live, with legs and everything, rather than just heads 🙂 She is keeping busy with lots more sewing projects planned while she is still on furlough and some DIY to do on her house. Hopefully I may be able to go and help her with when restrictions are lifted further.

The rhododendrons were starting to bloom all up the valley, this is one of my favourite walks but have not been for a while to this spot.

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Walk with Ellen 4

Walk with Ellen 2

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I love the old stone work around the reservoirs. There are long steps either side of the largest one and lots of little ones leading off to other places around the area.

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Walk with Ellen 13

We had fun trying to work out the names of other plants as well. Ellen has been learning a lot from the garden staff at Clumber but neither of us knew what this was so Ellen has christened it tree rose, pink variety. It may be hawthorn but it has the most gorgeous tiny rose like flowers.

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Walk with Ellen 12

Today is very cold and windy and wet so after the weekly trip for fresh bread I have been staying in sorting photos and am planning to do some embroidery later on.

I need to work on the next block in the challenge tomorrow. I have not yet had time to do another Sawtooth Star in Liberty so that one will have to wait a while. This week’s block is a Bearpaw one and looking at the instructions it may be very tricky to make a 6 inch one with four ‘paws’ as the pieces would be very tiny so it may be a good idea to make a much bigger block.

I was searching for inspiration and found this beautiful scappy Bearpaw quilt from Wendy’s Quilts. Picture from her blog. This is absolutely gorgeous, I love all of the bright colours. There are more detailed pictures of each block on her blog as well.

Scrappy bear paw quilt

I am thinking that a scrappy Liberty block in a larger size may be a good idea. I can then maybe use it as the centre of my quilt or keep it for something else. Although I am getting better at the fiddly bits of these blocks, after last week’s struggles I think I want to go for an easier option than trying to make each paw only 2 1/2 inches finished size. After all this is meant to be a relaxing hobby 😉

I hope that you have a nice rest of this Bank Holiday weekend if you are in the UK. The weather forecast for Monday is supposed to be very good. As I had my day off yesterday instead I will be working on my doctorate all day but hopefully can go for an early evening wander to the water.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.